Coordinator of Vaccination Expert Committee Dr. Shyam Raj Upreti said that the decision of Indian Government to temporarily ban export of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines will affect Nepal's Covid-19 vaccination drive.
India has decided to temporarily halt the export of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines following the surge of new cases in India. Dr. Uprety sees that this kind of situation is regular arguing that every country takes decision to give priority to its citizens.
He however believed that Nepal will receive another batch of vaccine from COVAX. Indian government has asked to hold on the export of the coronavirus vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India (SII) for the time being as domestic demand is expected to rise corresponding to the sharp spike in daily infections in the country.
It is expected that supplies of the Covid-19 vaccine are likely to slow down till the end of April 2021.With this, Nepal, along with 189 other countries under the WHO's Covax scheme, could face a stagnancies in terms of receiving the vaccines. Only recently, the SII had delayed the second consignment of the Covishield vaccine to Nepal.
According to Dr. Uprety there are enough vaccines to launch second phase to administer second dozes to 1.6 million people who have received the Covid jab in the country till mid-March.
Under the vaccination rollout plan, the government plans to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of the population.